Mudcat Café message #499212 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #36225   Message #499212
Posted By: Uncle_DaveO
05-Jul-01 - 04:16 PM
Thread Name: Writing Someone Alive to Say Thanks!
Subject: RE: Writing Someone Alive to Say Thanks!
At 70 years of age there aren't as many of them alive to thank. But there are three, one of whom I KNOW is alive, I acknowledge great debts to:

In high school I'd sort of slid through English, getting pretty good grades, suffering from "bright kids disease" but not exercising myself much. By the time I was 25 I was in a business school, studying court reporting, and a Miss Aufderheide taught a class called Business English. Between her inspired teaching and the realization that I was going to be rolling in the English language for a living for the rest of my life, I learned more about grammar and punctuation in about six months than I had in primary and secondary schools put together. I've been a language wonk ever since. Thank you, Miss Aufderheide!

In high school band we had a director named Merton Utgaard, who rubbed our noses in a wide variety of music, largely classical, and succeeded in forming my musical education in the classical vein, which has been a source of untold pleasure to me for the subsequent 53 years.

When I was in college (about '49 now) I had been passingly interested/amused by folksongs, mainly as sung by Burl Ives. But then I ran across Pete Seeger's Folkways disc, Darling Corey. Wow! That lit a fire under me, and I've been a folksong nut ever since. (Some people don't bother with the adjective, however.) Pete Seeger not only entertained me, but he showed me the power of this approach to song, and provided the basic underpinnings of what was to become my singing style. His social outlook, too, had a lot to do with who I am today in the nonmusical realms. When I grow up, I want to be Pete Seeger!

Dave Oesterreich